Janis Joplin (2 hours of music) #womensday

Celebrating International Women's Day with a new program, a remastered older one and for the first time, HQ audio options.

"Don't compromise yourself. You're all that you've got." – Janis Joplin

Today, the 8th of March, marks the observance of International Women's Day, a socialist holiday that is over a century old but has only become better known here in the United States after the holiday's adoption by the United nations in 1975. I chose to spotlight a woman who has had an incredible impact on my life, Janis Joplin.

But why Janis?

Before there were "women in rock", there was Janis. It really is as simple as that and yet doesn't convey just how seismic her impact and influence were on the people who lived through the time of her professional recording and touring career, a brief period from 1966 to 1970. But this was no ordinary time in our history. Civil rights for dispossessed peoples actually seemed like an attainable freedom for those affected, and conventions were being turned upside down at everywhere.

Prior to Janis, women in music, especially white women, fit into an easy to categorize mold. Non-white singers often had to conform to an acceptable white standards of appearance and performance if they were going to succeed in the cut-throat music business or risk never being able to break out and make a living as a self-sufficient artist. And then came Janis, a refugee from the tiny industrial town of Port Arthur, TX. She moved to San Francisco, initially working with the band Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1966 before going solo in 1969. Along the way, she literally became the single biggest and most visible embodiment of the counterculture scene.

So, you may be asking yourself again, why Janis?

  • She did not have movie star looks and even acne well into her twenties.
  • Her singing was not pitch perfect. 
  • She was not a shrinking violet vocally.
  • She didn't wear a lot of make-up.
  • She wasn't flight attendant thin.
  • She wrote some of her own material.
  • She wore clothing that set its own standards of style.
  • She didn't ask that skin blemishes be removed in photographs.
  • On stage, she did what she wanted, sang what she wanted, didn't stand still, danced freely and with amazing passion.
  • Janis Joplin, from a photo shoot for Vogue magazine, May 1968. Original photo by Richard Avedon, digital illustration by yours truly. To download a free copy of this tabloid size poster in PDF format, click on the image.

Most importantly, she was also unashamed of being outspoken about her life, her sexuality, her love of Black musicians and their profound influence on her, her lovers of both sexes and most importantly, that she had something to prove, if only to herself: that no matter what life throws at you, stick to your guns and go for it. Being honest and being kind were things she strove for for herself and those around her, and there are few, if any, people who knew her personally who have given interviews about her that had an unkind thing to say about her. In an industry where people claw, scratch, kick, lie and backstab one another to get ahead, Janis did it by just being herself, not giving a rat's ass about other people's pettiness toward her, staying focused and working hard.

In a sense, this particular program is a love letter and a small token of my thanks and appreciation to her everything. It has gotten me through many different times in my life, and it is an honor to put together this program in the hope she may one day influence someone else who needs to hear her truth, especially those of us who don't conform, stick out anywhere and refuse to give in to someone else's standard of what is and isn't acceptable for us.

Our tracks this week: TitleSource, Year of Recording (Backing Band)

First Part
1. Tell Mama (live), Festival Express, 1970 (Full-Tilt Boogie Band)
2. MaybeI Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, 1969 (Kozmic Blues Band)
3. What Good Drinkin' Can Do, Janis box set, 1962 (solo acoustic)
4. Mercedes Benz, Pearl, recorded 1970 (solo a cappella)

Second Part
5. One Night Stand, original Farewell Song/Janis box set, 1970 (Paul Butterfield Blues Band)
6. Kozmic BluesI Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, 1969 (Kozmic Blues Band)
7. Get It While You Can, Pearl, 1970 (Full-Tilt Boogie Band)
8. Studio chatter/Me and Bobby McGee (demo), The Pearl Sessions, 1970 (solo acoustic)

Third Part
9. Studio chatter/ Move Over (unused alternate take),The Pearl Sessions, 1970  (Full-Tilt Boogie Band)
10. Try a Little Bit Harder (live)Festival Express, 1970 (Full-Tilt Boogie Band)
11. Raise Your Hand (live), The Dick Cavett Show, 1969 (Kozmic Blues Band)

Finale
12. Little Girl Blue (live), The Dick Cavett Show, 1969 (Kozmic Blues Band)
13. Half Moon (live)The Dick Cavett Show, 1970 (Full-Tilt Boogie Band)

To download this program as a one hour standard audio quality show, please click on this link.

To download the HQ audio show in four parts, please click on each of the linked parts below: Each is approximately 15 minutes long.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


The following program was originally broadcast on 04 October 2015, the 35th anniversary of Joplin's death from a heroin overdose. I have re-mastered the sound quality, and it is also available in HQ audio in four parts. Original bumpers and credits remained as they were first recorded.

First Part
1. Combination of the TwoLive at Winterland, 1968
2. Flower In The Sun, Live at Winterland, 1968
3. I Need A Man to LoveCheap Thrills, 1968

Second Part
4. Bye, Bye BabyBig Brother and the Holding Company, 1967
5. Coo Coo, single A-side, 1968 (eventually released on the first Big Brother LP)
6. Catch Me Daddy, unreleased studio recording, Janis (box set), 1968

Third Part
7. Piece of My HeartCheap Thrills, 1968
8. Turtle BluesCheap Thrills, 1968
9. Misery’n (unreleased studio recording)Janis (box set), 1968
10. Summertime (studio-out-take), 18 Essential Songs, 1968

Finale
11. Call On MeLive At the Carousel Ballroom, 1968
12. Down On Me (live at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI)Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits, 1968
13. Ball and Chain (live)Monterey International Pop Festival, 1967

To download this program as a one hour standard audio quality show, please click on this link.

To download the HQ audio show in four parts, please click on each of the linked parts below: Each is approximately 15 minutes in length.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
Ace of Spades PDX

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for 'fair use' for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

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